Sep 10, 2017

Posted by in RPG | 0 Comments

Sense Motive got changed in Starfinder

In Pathfinder, the idea behind Sense Motive (at least the one to find out if somebody is lying to you), is that if somebody wants to fool you, they roll a bluff check. You then get an automatic sense motive check to find out, if you see through his intentions.

During actual play, GMs often face the situation that while they read the NPCs speech, that the players will shout “Sense Motive!” What that means is, that the player distrusts the information or the NPC, and wants in character proof for that.

That leads to a lot of problems. Let’s say the NPC is telling the truth. Your sense motive is really low. What does the GM tell the player?

Another problem is, that it moves the Sense Motive from the character to the player.

A gullible player, who wants to play a character who can’t be fooled could do this by Pathfinder rules. In Starfinder, this is now a problem. While Starfinder has become a lot more inclusive when it comes to gender and sexual orientation, I think this is a step back for players having problem gathering social clues.

I know at least two players on the Asperger’s spectrum who love to play social characters to be the one who gets everything and understand the motivations of the NPCs, because that’s what they cannot do in real life.

And unless they now always ask for a sense motive, this will not happen.

I feel that this could become something like the rogue checking for traps every step, if not handled sensitively by the GMs.

Also remember, that this can go in the other way was well. If you provide valid information, but the GM can now roll to a senseless sense motive, this might result in pretty messed up situations.

And remember, that most PCs are way less trustworthy than most NPCs, so they rolling sense motive for their NPCs makes sense if they don’t meta game (which most GMs do).

I hope I am seeing a problem here that will not surface, but still, it bothers and worries me a bit.

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